This month at ICBA Wellness, we’re looking at suicide prevention – ways to help both ourselves and others, and to connect to important services at the moment of need.

In the past year, Canada took a giant leap forward with the launch of 9-8-8, a national suicide crisis hotline, staffed 24-7 (we’ve written about the genesis of 9-8-8, and the work of MP Todd Doherty before).

But it often still takes a friend or loved one noticing a sign or a comment or a vibe or a feeling that something isn’t right – and then saying something. Some of the signs that experts say to watch out for:

  • Talking about wanting to die, great guilt or shame, or being a burden to others
  • Feeling empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live, extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage, or being in unbearable emotional or physical pain
  • Changing behavior, such as making a plan or researching ways to die, withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, making a will, taking dangerous risks, displaying extreme mood swings, eating or sleeping more or less, or using drugs or alcohol more often.

For each other’s sakes, let’s keep our eyes and ears open.

Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 100 companies and more than 10,000 construction professionals better understand mental health. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out for details.